If I believed Judge Moore was guilty of sexual misconduct against girls as young as 14-years-old, I would not vote for him today, even if the events took place 40 years ago and were never repeated since. If he was guilty back then, then he is lying about it today, and I could not vote for him in good conscience no matter how much I did not want to see Doug Jones elected to the Senate. Yet if I lived in Alabama and the elections were today, I would vote for Roy Moore.
Does that mean that I have concluded that his principle accusers, Leigh Corfman and Beverly Young Nelson are lying? For many obvious reasons, from the yearbook forgery to numerous eyewitness statements that contradict Nelson, I seriously question her accusations. But when it comes to Corfman, I find no compelling reasons to question her charges.
As for the other women, what most of them describe is a man in his early 30’s dating girls in their older teens. While that is not something I would be comfortable with as the father of two daughters and the grandfather of two granddaughters, that would certainly not disqualify him in my eyes, especially given his political track record since. And in the culture of Alabama 40 years ago, in the opinion of some, such behavior was hardly considered unusual, let alone deviant.
But then why vote for him if, in my mind, there is the possibility of his guilt?
I do believe it is right that Al Franken and John Conyers have suffered the consequences of their alleged misdeeds. And, if the women who accused Donald Trump of serious sexual misconduct are telling the truth, then he, too, should have to give account.
But when it comes to Judge Moore, he has vociferously denied the charges against him. And at the very least, it smacks of partisan politics for 40-year-old charges to surface immediately before a critically important election.
So, on moral grounds, I believe that Moore deserves his day in court, as do his accusers.
How can we be sure that happens? We can do so by voting him into the Senate (if, in fact, we agree with him against Jones). The Senate, for its part, will be forced by the court of public opinion to launch a full investigation, and Judge Moore will be required to testify under oath.
On pragmatic grounds, I believe this is the best course of action as well.
Why? Well, if the charges against Moore are political fabrications, it would be a shame to give a Senate seat away to a liberal democrat because of these lies. But at this point in time, barring all the accusers being exposed as liars within the next 24 hours, it’s too late for us to know for sure. And, because the charges came so late in the game, it was too late for the Republicans to replace Moore with another viable candidate.
So, if Alabamians were predisposed to elect Moore before the charges were brought, unless they’re convinced he’s a guilty, lying hypocrite, they should vote him into the Senate.
If he’s found guilty by an official Senate hearing, then he would be forced to resign and a formal, proper race could take place to replace him.
If he’s found not-guilty by the Senate, then the voters who stood with him would be vindicated and he would be able to serve his constituency without hindrance.
This, to me, seems to be both practical and moral, since it does not minimize the charges brought against Judge Moore it does not minimize the possibility of him being the victim of an attempted political takedown, and it does not allow last minute political shenanigans (if real) to subvert an important election. And, again, this ensures that Judge Moore and his accusers will have their day in court.
This approach, then, allows the voters to focus on the ideological differences between Moore and his Democratic opponent, putting aside the allegations of sexual misconduct until such a time that they can be thoroughly investigated.